The environment is complex. I love studying complexity, and observing ecosystems fascinates me because they are made up of many moving parts that each interact with the others in ways that are simple but in an overall way that is too complicated to predict reliably.
Several years ago, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. The expectation was that this would help manage the populations of deer and other large game. It did. But it also impacted the environment in a slew of unexpected ways in what's called a trophic cascade. This video explains it well:
Our entire educational system is in need of a paradigm shift. I happen to prefer the "Flipped Classroom" approach. I believe knowledge is abundant and students should be gleaning it from sources other than the classroom, and that the role of school is twofold:
When I was in sonar on submarines for the US Navy, I always enjoyed the hours spent listening to humpback whales off the coast of Hawaii. It interfered with our job, but it was also one of the highlights of the work for me.
If you had to describe the parts of the Saturn V rocket and lunar landers using only the 1000 most commonly known/used words in the English language, could you do it?
Are you honest?
Actually, we (humans) have all kinds of mechanisms in our brains that make us feel honest even when we're not. Here is a great talk about honesty and rationalization about dishonesty in people:
Human sexuality is one of the most interesting topics in the universe to me... I've been studying it mostly informally (but some formal education) for most of my adult life. There is an amazing universe of orientations, desires, behaviors, and choices, and it's all fascinating.
And it scares the crap out of a lot of people. The thought of sexuality being anything other than one man, one woman is frightening to significant portions of the population. Which is unfortunate, since it results in so much hate in the world that is, essentially, a waste of everyone's time and energy.
With all the
pseudo-science ahem, I mean common knowledge out there about what supplements are good for us, it's hard to tell easily what the actual research shows. This handy graph summarizes what real research has concluded on a variety of vitamins, minerals, plants, and other supplements for health.
Humans are notoriously unable to estimate risk and reward, and so many of our political, economic, and security decisions are made based on these inaccurate decisions. This is a fantastic analysis:
A fascinating technical/scientific piece about the destructive power of asteroids and a simple strategy to defend Earth from them: